Thursday, January 30, 2014

Big Feelings For Bug

Bug (3y) is really starting to express his inner thoughts and interact with other people lately. It's a magical peek into who he is.

I love being able to witness him discovering himself, figuring out who he is in the big crazy world. What he likes and doesn't like, what he thinks about things, what inspires his sense of wonder. As an adult, I'm still figuring out who I am, so I imagine he will continually be figuring out who he is for a while. It's a privilege to be able to experience this with him.

Parenting from this perspective really changes things for me. There is no need for me to "make" him into a certain person. He is who he is, something he is figuring out along the way. And there is no need for me to be upset with him when he struggles along that path.

For example, last night he was really upset about something. I never figured out what. Other people might have called his wailing and flailing a tantrum, but I saw a boy who was feeling big feelings and didn't know what to make of them. I likened it to how I used to feel as a teenager when my heart was broken. So when I'd asked all the questions I could think of to try and figure out how to help him and nothing worked, I just sat with him. My heart went out to him. I told him I was here for him and I would help him get through this. And I just waited, letting love and acceptance fill my gaze.

After what seemed like an hour, he threw himself into my arms and held me tight, and then he was better. We went on to eat dinner and enjoy a movie night.

I don't know what was ailing him, but I hope through this he knows that no matter how ugly and dark things might feel, he can get through it. And that Mama will be there to help if he wants it.

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